She Smiles

Proverbs 31:24 “Strength and dignity are her clothing, and she smiles at the future.”

Our verse today comes from the description of the worthy woman. It’s a mother’s advice to her grown son about the type of woman he ought to marry. Moms ought to still give their sons such advice. It’s easy to be fooled by looks. The package may look good on the outside, but too often there is nothing on the inside, especially spiritually. The dating process is a time to see if a couple like each other, can get along with one another, and have the same values, goals and thinking. Dating exposes priorities and likes and dislikes. Dating reveals how a person acts under different circumstances. It shows whether they respect laws, how they treat their family, whether they are selfish, how they handle finances and debt and above all, what they think about the Lord. No single factor can help or hurt a person’s spiritual journey as much as the person they are married to. Your mate can keep you on track spiritually. There will be times for prayers together, worship together and discussions about the Bible together. Your mate can help shape your character into a godly person. Being on the same page spiritually is vital in a family. Issues such as modesty, entertainment, discipline of children, finances, hospitality, engagement in the Lord’s work will come up often in a family. If a couple do not see eye to eye on these things, there will be disappointment, stress and much too often, the unraveling of a relationship. Dating is more than going out and simply having fun. It’s about seeing if there is a future together. Too much alone time and too much affection can cloud one’s reasoning, and can lead to crossing lines of intimacy that God intended only for married people. Stats reveal that MOST dating couples have sexual relations before marriage. The numbers are huge. This is disappointing. There is nothing more special and more sacred than yourself.

Our verse is a mother’s advice to her son. Her son happened to be a king. Kings don’t know everything. Kings still need a mother. The woman described by this mom was a person of decency, character, quality and industry. She didn’t have a lazy bone. She wasn’t a drama queen. She wasn’t into herself. She was thoughtful of others. She wasn’t a complainer, a whiner, or one who played the victim. She got up early and got about things. She was trustworthy and kind. This is especially interesting, because the woman who married the king would become the queen. She certainly wasn’t described like most queens. She was involved, engaged, and helpful to others. The world didn’t revolve around her.

The expression in our verse indicates her optimism and how she saw the future. The passage states, “she smiles at the future.” What a great line. Most of us can smile at the past. Get out the old photo albums, check out facebook on “throw back Thursdays” and we laugh, smile and enjoy looking at the past. Most can smile at the present. Get some friends together and we can share each other’s company. The woman in our passage smiled at the FUTURE. That’s hard to do. We don’t know the future. Things could turn tough. The economy…the wellbeing of nation…politics…health…jobs…the future holds so many unknowns. The future can be scary. The future is uncertain. How could this woman smile at the future? She had faith and trust in the Lord. No matter what happened, the Lord was upon the throne. God was watching over.

The battles of the Old Testament often resulted in thousands being killed in one day. We can’t grasp that. Our history will have thousands killed in an entire, several year, war, not one day. Disease was deadly back when Proverbs was written. Many women never survived childbirth. Many babies never saw their first birthday. Life was more survival than anything else. It was tough. Yet, she smiled at the future.

Just think what such a spirit would bring to a family. Someone that was pleasant and not gloomy. Someone that saw the sunshine above the clouds. Someone who didn’t dwell on problems. Someone who learned to let the past go and to live with peace and joy. Someone who practiced forgiveness. The spirit of a family would be refreshed by such a person. This is who mom wanted her son to look for. Hopeful, delightful, kind, and seeing the future with great enthusiasm. She smiled at the future.

What mom didn’t reveal and obviously didn’t matter was what she looked like, how rich her daddy was, what kind of stuff she owned, or how important she was. Those things will get you in trouble. Those things will too often lead to misery down the road. Those are superficial things that often hide a heart that is wicked, sour, miserable, and defeating. Stay away from that kind of person. They need to get their act together and figure out what they are doing on planet earth before they engage in a relationship with others.

Smiling at the future. Can you do that? Can you smile at this week or do you groan because of all the things that must be done? Can you smile at this month? Can you smile at this year? We don’t know what’s going to happen, but we know the Lord and that makes all the difference.

I’ve noticed something about smiles. When someone smiles at you, it’s hard not to smile back. Smiles are that way. They are infectious. It’s hard to resist the smiles of a child. Few things are more beautiful than smiling children. Adults frown too much. We’d do well to smile a bit more and spread some sunshine to others. Try it today. When you are out and about, trying smiling. Smile at your meeting you have. Smile at the clerk at the store. Smile at the doctor’s office. When you come home, try smiling to the family. Notice how your smile affects others. It changes the temperature of the room and of hearts.

She smiled…